Cases move forward for men accused of crimes against children

2013-12-16T13:12:00Z 2013-12-17T08:09:32Z Cases move forward for men accused of crimes against childrenBy Chris Zavadil/Fremont Tribune Fremont Tribune
December 16, 2013 1:12 pm  • 

A jury trial for a man accused of sexually assaulting a young girl in his Fremont home is set for Feb. 19-21.

Merle A. Kuntzelman, 56, pleaded not guilty Dodge County District Court in June to one count of sexual assault of a child, a Class I-B felony; and one count child abuse, a Class III-A felony. He stood silent on one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The court entered a not guilty plea on that charge.

“The victim in this case, who was 6 years old at the time of the alleged crime, was playing with her friend outside Kuntzelman’s residence,” Dodge County Attorney Oliver Glass said. “He invited the girls in for a glass of milk, both the victim and her friend, and the friend left, and Mr. Kuntzelman proceeded to take the victim to his bedroom, where he committed the crimes I’ve charged him with.”

Kuntzelman is being held on $500,000 bond.

Another man, Donald Peacock, 44, of Fremont, appeared in District Court on Monday, but had his arraignment on multiple sexual and child abuse charges continued until Jan. 9.

Peacock faces four counts of visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct, a Class 1-D felony; five counts of first degree sexual assault of a child, a Class 1-B felony; five counts of incest, a Class III felony; and five counts of intentional child abuse, a Class III-A felony.

He is being held without bond at the Saunders County Jail.

Michael R. Rice, 48, of Hooper will make his first court appearance on Dec. 30.

Rice is facing 11 sex-related charges, including two counts of first degree sexual assault of a child, a Class 1-B felony; first degree sexual assault, a Class II felony; three counts of incest, Class III felonies; three counts of child abuse, Class III-A felonies; and two counts of third degree sexual assault of a child, Class III-A felonies.

“The allegations concern sexual assaults of girls between the ages of 11 and 17,” Glass said.

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